If you ever wonder where to eat in Nairobi, well sit down and relax we’ve got you sorted.
Nairobi is known around the world for its innovative fashion designers, stunning landscapes, and tea & coffee trade and its restaurant scene is no different.
Whether you’re looking for a food truck, international cuisines, African dishes, vegan tea shops, or the world’s most expensive restaurant experience, there are sensational options at every price point.
While there are dozens of amazing joints to choose from, here are 6 spots where you can eat while in Nairobi.
Nyama Mama is a fun spot in the Westlands serving homey Kenyan and African cuisine. The decor is hip and funky: bright yellow sofas adorned with colourful kanga cushions, chunky metal lights, and the kitchen set within a shipping container.
One of the best items on the menu is the lentil dal served with chapati and a side of your choice, from fried plantains to kachumbari salad (chopped tomatoes and onions) or sautéed sukuma wiki (spinach).
Nyama Mama also offers a limited late-night menu until 4 a.m., convenient for those lingering at the cocktail bar upstairs.
320 Ngong Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
Proclaimed as the best restaurant in Nairobi by the New York Times, Talisman is a high-end gastropub set in the green suburb of Karen. Its interior comprises Middle Eastern tapestry and Kenyan craft, and Talisman is the place to go for unrivalled candle-lit al fresco dining.
It plays host to a series of regular exhibitions on African art and hosts monthly foodie events. The continental menu stretches from Japan to Zanzibar, Limuru to Mombasa. Start with the feta and coriander samosa doused in chilli-ginger jam, followed by the deluxe burger layered with apple slaw, bacon and cheese, and finish with smooth and spicy Turkish coffee paired with famous Malindi Indian halwa.
Booking is highly recommended, note that the restaurant has a calendar of live music and events, so call in advance to see what’s on. An Escape Room experience just opened next door, so a perfect evening could mean a daring breakout followed by a candlelit meal.
Parklands Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
The owners of Mama Rocks, two sisters from London with Kenyan heritage, decided to introduce the food truck revolution to Nairobi. Their pale pink truck, located most days outside the Alchemist bar in Westlands, has sent Kenyans wild with joy and praise for the gourmet burgers.
Mama Rocks recipes infuse Western/American traditional foods with an African twist, like the Nollywood Suya Saga burger (a beef burger dressed with caramelized onions, arugula, and a honey and nut mayo blend), served with fried plantains on the side.
Despite identifying as a burger truck, Mama Rocks turn out delicious salads and drinks, too. The veggie burger (a falafel patty topped with halloumi cheese) is one of the most popular items on the menu.
8th Floor Pramukh Towers, Westlands Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya‘s first board-game café. like many great spots in Nairobi, is hidden away—in this case, on the 8th floor of an office building. If anything, Bao Box’s location is actually a boon because the altitude offers fabulous city views, and its seemingly random location adds to the completely fun vibe of the place.
Walls are stacked high with all the famous board games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan… and some lesser-known gems including one bluntly named “Fact or Crap.” Whatever your board-game poison, here lies something for you.
The decidedly non-corporate decor is funky and outdoorsy with blankets and colourful cushions on pallets. A simple menu of burgers, chips, beers, wines and soft drinks will satisfy peckish players.
Karen Hardy, Nairobi, Kenya
Boho Eatery was born out of the need to change people’s perceptions about vegan and vegetarian food. To make people begin to think about social change through food, as dining out is so much a part of today’s social fabric.
Boho is short for Bohemian: a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts.
Boho has swapped what would be a mostly meat menu with a mostly vegan one, leaving a couple of options for those carnivores unwilling to branch out. Label the cuisine what you will, it is definitely delicious. Try, especially, the mushroom ceviche, the coconut cream panna cotta, and the scrambled tofu breakfast bowl.
The elegant restaurant, located in a converted house, has an outdoor bar and patio seating area as well as a large garden. The owners were very conscious of how they designed the space to ensure it spoke to who they were. They were keen to be as close to nature as possible and bring it into the dining spaces.
Situated right in the middle of Karura Forest, one of the world’s largest urban forests. Accessed from Limuru road, across from the Belgian Embassy in Nairobi, it’s a tranquil swath of wilderness in the middle of the city.
The dining area, on a large expanse of the wooden deck under an open-sided canvas roof, gets extra atmospheric charm from the surrounding forest treetops and plants. It is simple and welcoming, incorporating a menu that takes advantage of Kenya’s wonderful produce. This place gets busy on the weekends when Nairobians stop in for brunch after church or a walk around the forest, so book in advance.
The River Café is the perfect place to experience a small part of Kenya’s natural beauty – guests can bird watch, take guided colobus monkey walks, or just sit back to enjoy an intimate lunch followed by a walk or bike ride in the expansive forest. There is simply nowhere like it in Nairobi.